The adventuresome life of a Great Pyrenees/Newfoundland dog in Northwestern Ontario

Riddle Me This!

I’m starting you off with a riddle today. You can think about it while René, The Scribe and I provide you with a firewood-splitting demonstration. It’ll give those of you who know all about this activity something to ponder while those who live in non-wood-burning areas get some insight on life in the Boreal Forest.

The Riddle

How many Keewatin residents does it take to change a light bulb?

The Demonstration

I was right about René coming back to do more log-splitting. I told Elizabeth to hurry up and get her camera before he was all done, ’cause he’d only left a few great big logs to finish off.

“What are you taking pictures of?” René asked The Scribe.

“You’re giving Stella’s readers a log-splitting demonstration today.”

“Oh, I am, am I?” René doesn’t use the Internet. He didn’t have a clue about what we were going on about. But he let us take his picture. Several times!

“Make sure you get the Tampa Bay T-shirt,” he said. He isn’t a Lightning fan. Sometimes he goes to Florida in the winter to warm up. But it’s so hot there that sometimes he needs to cool off a little. So, when our hometown NHL star is in Tampa to play ice hockey with the Los Angeles Kings (or when he used to play for the Philadelphia Flyers as their captain), René goes to watch Mike Richards play. It’s almost like going home to the chill of Canada.

So, here’s our photographic firewood-splitting demo!

First, the operator must load the log onto the top of the log-splitting machine.

First, the operator must load the log onto the top of the log-splitting machine. Elizabeth calls it The Boreal Guillotine.

When the two-legger turns on the switch, that black block starts to push the log into a wedge-shaped but of metal at the other end of the splitter.

When the two-legger turns on the switch, that black block starts to push the log into a wedge-shaped bit of metal at the other end of the splitter (you can see it in the first photo).

The pressure causes the wood to split at the wedge. Sometimes on the bigger logs, like this one, the operator needs to give the machine a helping hand.

The pressure causes the wood to split at the wedge. Sometimes on the bigger logs, like this one, the operator needs to give the machine a helping hand.

After you repeat this procedure many times, your woodshed begins to look like this! Easy peasy, eh? BOL

After you repeat this procedure many times, your woodshed begins to look like this! Easy peasy, eh? BOL

The Back Story

Just as René arrived to split wood, something I’d never witnessed before was taking place in the kitchen of the two-legger house. I found Elizabeth sitting in an odd position on the floor to one side of the open oven door. She had a screwdriver in her hand, and was reaching with it into the very back upper corner of the oven. Kay came in and asked the question before I could get over my surprise.

“What on earth are you doing, Elizabeth?”

“I’m changing the light bulb. It’s burned out, and I want to make some yoghurt.” Elizabeth has found that the oven light generates just enough heat to incubate the yoghurt overnight.

“Why don’t you take the door off the oven? I think that would make it a lot easier.”

“Well, yes, it might. But then I must put it back on again.” René had just started working. “I guess if I had any trouble with it, I could ask René to help me…”

Off came the oven door. It needed to be cleaned, so Elizabeth took it outside. She took the photos for me and asked René if he would help her get the door back on if she had trouble. No problem.

First, she went to work on the light bulb. She had to take out three screws in order to remove the lens. But it was dark in the oven, and she couldn’t see very well. So, she found a flashlight and beamed it over the oven light. She got the lens off, took out the old bulb and replaced it with the new one. Then she put the lens back on and screwed its bracket back in place. No problem.

René was still splitting wood when she went out to the porch deck and started cleaning the oven door. She got it all rinsed off and carried it back inside. It’s heavy, she says. I don’t know if she’s just whining, ’cause I didn’t try to lift it. If it doesn’t fit in my mouth, I leave the lifting to the two-leggers. So, you’ll just have to take her word for it.

She lifted it up so the hinges were at their slot locations. She pushed the door back so the hinges slid into place. She shifted the door a bit, wiggled it a little, lifted it up, lowered it, closed it… The hinges just wouldn’t engage properly. The oven door would only open about ten centimeters!

Leading up to the Riddle’s Answer…

René finished splitting the wood and Elizabeth still didn’t have the oven door thing worked out. He came in to help. They took the door back off the oven. They put it on again. They lifted it. They wiggled it. They raised it. They lowered it. I growled. Nothing worked.

Kay came in and suggested they look at the oven manual. She found it and both René and Elizabeth pored over it. They both offered each other interpretations of what they found there…

They took the door back off the oven. They put it on again. They lifted it. They wiggled it. They raised it. They lowered it. I growled. Nothing worked.

René took the door outside and fiddled with the hinges. He brought it back in. They put it on again. They lifted it. They wiggled it. They raised it. They lowered it. I growled. Nothing worked.

Then Elizabeth noticed something and asked René to let her hold the door in a slightly different position. She pushed it and it clicked in place. René fiddled with a part of each hinge and finally, the door was in place and working.

The Answer to the Riddle:

The entire bulb replacing process took four Keewatin residents: three two-leggers, one canine supervisor and just over two hours!

René said, “I’m going home before you find anything more for me to do!”

Eager for an opportunity to bolster his confidence, René negotiated his All Terrain Growly Beast through a little obstacle course of rocks we have growing out of our lawn. The wood he's taking home is for a bonfire for his grandsons to roast marshmallows over. Two=legger pus like marshmallows all hot and gooey, apparently.

Eager for an opportunity to bolster his self confidence, René negotiated his All Terrain Growly Beast through a little obstacle course of rocks we have growing out of our lawn. The wood he’s taking home is for a bonfire for his grandsons to roast marshmallows over. Two-legger pups like fire-toasted marshmallows: brown and black on the outside and gooey in the middle. YUCK!

Bye, René! Thanks for all your help!

Bye, René! Thanks for all your help!

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